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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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Please help me to understand the difference between medical

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Please help me to understand the difference between medical malpractice and wrongful
death. It is my understanding that several factors and medical mistakes can contribute
to a wrongful death. Am I right in this?
Misdiagnosing a patient can delay proper treatment.
On the other hand, proper diagnosis, but incorrect treatment or delayed treatment
can contribute to a less than favorable outcome.
Sending a patient with fragile lungs home without oxygen, can decrease chance for
a favorable outcome. Discharging a patient when not stable can cause further harm.
Moving a patient to a lower level of care than needed can be detrimental.
Having patients sign documents when under the influence of narcotics is not "informed
consent". Are these comments accurate?
Medical Malpractice is a cause of action held by a patient for negligence against a doctor. In it you have to prove that:

1) the doctor breached the standard of care that a objectively reasonable doctor would have provided under the circumstances;

2) the breach of duty caused the injury; and

3) the valuation of the damages.

Wrongful death is an action that is brought by the next of kin (spouse, child, or parent) to recover damages for the death caused by a third party by a tort such as medical malpractice. In other words, it gives the family the right to bring the malpractice suit on behalf of the deceased. Thus, in this case, you must show that you have standing under the wrongful death statute in your state and you must then prove medical malpractice as the cause of the death.

The factors you mention above could likely be a cause of malpractice which led to the death of your loved one. However, to know for sure you will need to contact an attorney to review the medical records in your case. The attorney will closely inspect the records and if he/she thinks you have a case, they will hire a third party doctor to act as an expert witness to provide an expert opinion that the standard of care was breached by doctor and medical facility that treated the deceased patient.

Please let me know if this answers your question or if you need any clarification.

Best Regards,
Zachary D. Norris
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